Health Outcomes Research| Volume 80, ISSUE 6, P1247-1251, December 2012

Urinary Diversion in Patients With Spinal Cord Injury in the United States


      To describe the patterns in the use of bladder augmentation and urinary diversion to manage urologic sequelae among patients with spinal cord injury in the United States.

      Materials and Methods

      Discharge estimates were derived from the Nationwide Inpatient Sample. All patients underwent bladder augmentation or ileal conduit diversion from 1998 to 2005 and had a diagnosis of spinal cord injury.


      Ileal loop diversion was performed in an estimated 1919 patients and bladder augmentation in 1132 patients with spinal cord injury from 1998 to 2005. Patients undergoing urinary diversion tended to be older (mean age 46 vs 34 years; P <.001) and to have Medicare as the primary payer (55.0% vs 30.8%; P <.001). Patients who underwent urinary diversion appeared to use more healthcare resources, with a longer length of stay (15 vs 9 days), higher hospital charges ($58,626 vs $37,222), and a greater use of home healthcare services after discharge (all P <.001). Patients at teaching institutions were more likely to undergo bladder augmentation (42%) than those at nonteaching institutions (23%; P <.001).


      Bladder augmentation is used in approximately one-third of cases to manage the urologic complications of spinal cord injury. These patients likely constitute a clinically distinct population that uses fewer healthcare resources. The lower augmentation rates at nonteaching institutions may indicate an opportunity for quality improvement.
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      • Editorial Comment
        UrologyVol. 80Issue 6
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          It is not uncommon for urologists to encounter patients with spinal cord injury whose neurogenic bladder dysfunction has not responded to “conservative” management with medications and catheterization. This is a very heterogeneous group of patients with variable degrees of functional impairment (eg, paraplegia, quadriplegia), urologic abnormalities (eg, detrusor overactivity, diminished bladder compliance, hydronephrosis, renal damage, urethral dysfunction), and comorbidities (eg, obesity, previous abdominal surgeries, decubitus ulcers, neurogenic bowel dysfunction).
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